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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

UPFRONTS 2012: CBS' Official Fall Schedule

And finally here is CBS!

8:00 How I Met Your Mother (8th season)
9:00 2 Broke Girls (2nd season)
9:30 Mike & Molly (3rd season)
10:00 Hawaii Five-0 (3rd season)
CBS is making a couple big moves on Tuesday by sliding 2 Broke Girls to the 9pm anchor position after just one season. This slot has been held by Two and a Half Men since Everybody Loves Raymond went off the air in 2005. CBS wisely realizes that its two Monday anchors are nearing their end but I'm still a bit surprised by this move. I'm just not sure if Girls is ready to be an anchor quite yet. If it is then this is a great gamble by CBS. In Girls 8:30 slot is the new comedy Partners and that seems like a tonal fit on the night. The rest of the night stays in tact and it could be the final season for How I Met Your Mother. It makes sense to keep Mike & Molly at 9:30pm with the new 9pm anchor.

8:00 NCIS (10th season)
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles (4th season)
10:00 VEGAS
In what I think is CBS's worst move, they are choosing to keep NCIS: Los Angeles at 9pm for a fourth season. If CBS wants to spin off its franchise shows, they should be able to stand on their own and I think Los Angeles is more than ready. Plus I think there is a chance for a new drama to take hold at 9pm with comedies on the other three networks. Instead, they are keeping the NCIS twins together and launching the promising new drama Vegas at 10pm. Will it be able to do better than The Good Wife or Unforgettable in this slot? It might be a tall order for a show that's a bit outside of CBS brand but boasts a great cast.

8:00 Survivor (25th edition)
9:00 Criminal Minds (8th season)
10:00 CSI (13th season)
CBS is keeping the status quo on Wednesday nights. In the last two years, they have moved Survivor and CSI to the night and shored up two difficult timeslots. Throw in Criminal Minds, which has never known any other timeslot and you have a solid but not spectacular lineup with veteran shows that can hold up against ABC's comedies and FOX's singing franchises.

8:00 The Big Bang Theory (6th season)
8:30 Two and a Half Men (10th season)
9:00 Person of Interest (2nd season)
CBS made its best move by resisting the temptation to go to two hours of comedy on Thursday. As I said numerous times, their shows are getting too old to do that and while The Big Bang Theory would do great numbers at 9pm, the 8pm hour would likely suffer. The big move is sending Two and a Half Men to 8:30pm Thursday for what is likely its final season. CBS needed to get younger on Mondays and the 8:30pm slot has had bad retention this year with Rules of Engagement and Rob. This move makes them much stronger in the hour. How the tables have turned as a few years ago, Big Bang was reaping the rewards of a Men lead-in. CBS is wisely keeping Person of Interest at 9pm where it grew this year and using it to launch the new Sherlock Holmes drama Elementary at 10pm which seems like a good fit.

8:00 CSI: NY (9th season)
10:00 Blue Bloods (3rd season)
CBS is shuffling Fridays around a little bit as they have had no luck launching dramas at 8pm. Instead, they will slide CSI: NY up an hour. While the show seems dark for 8pm, it's probably smart to move a veteran drama there rather than let another rookie die. At 9pm is the new drama Made in Jersey which will help create a trio of NY dramas. It should have a better chance at 9pm. Blue Bloods closes out the night as Fridays are more competitive than they have been in years with multiple scripted shows on each of the big four networks. 

8:00 Encores
10:00 48 Hours Mystery (26th season)
CBS is once again airing encores at 8pm with 48 Hours Mystery at 10pm. I still think they could try scripted programming here but I guess CBS doesn't agree.

7:00 60 Minutes (45th season)
8:00 The Amazing Race (21st edition)
9:00 The Good Wife (4th season)
10:00 The Mentalist (5th season)
CBS is opting to keep all returning programs on Sundays but they will add The Mentalist to replace the cancelled CSI: Miami. Some thought they might move The Good Wife to 10pm but CBS is always reluctant to switch times for its dramas. Instead, they will bring The Mentalist to 10pm where it will take the biggest brunt of the NFL overruns. I'm not sure if this was the right move because I think The Mentalist has more of a chance to succeed at 9pm. 

As usual, CBS doesn't have much on its bench for midseason as most shows run full seasons even when they get cancelled at the end. They have one comedy, one drama, one reality show, and the returning Undercover Boss on deck. Rules of Engagement could still join that list as nothing has been decided yet on the perennial bubble show.

CANCELLED/ENDED: CSI: Miami, A Gifted Man, How to Be a Gentleman, NYC 22, Rob, Unforgettable
No big surprises here but as usual, the most successful cancelled shows reside on CBS as CSI: Miami, Rob, and Unforgettable would most likely be renewed on other networks.

My Thoughts:
Overall, I think this is a good schedule for the most stable network and their new shows look right on brand (with the exception of Vegas which could be a big hit or a big miss). The one move I really think is wrong is keeping NCIS: Los Angeles at 9pm Tuesday. I think that's a major missed opportunity by CBS. Some of their other choices however, should pay off nicely. If 2 Broke Girls is indeed ready to be an anchor than they will have struck gold on Monday nights. Overall, I see another good year for CBS where consistency is king. 

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